Over the last year, many of us have been taking a ride through the ever evolving world of social media.
As such, we've considered what it means to be a good citizen in the social media world, why someone would be interested in relationship with us (besides courtesy) and how to provide value to the willing souls we come into contact with.
However many of the leading social media lights that I've been following (including Eric Fletcher , Melanie Green , Adrian Dayton , Kent Huffman)model what its really all about: taking online relationships offline. They make them as personal as they can be.
All of these people work hard to connect with professional peers using Twitter, Blogs, webinars, speeches, etc. Then they find opportunities to have phone conferences, meetings, lunches and make the interaction as close to face-to-face as possible.
So last week I had the opportunity to sit on a conference panel on social media for marketing/business development partners and professionals in the law firm industry. For me, the big take away from the conference was the experiece of, once again, meeting face-to-face with people I've only cooresponded with in the past and realizing that the opportunities to learn and grow in these relationships are exponential when we take them offline.
Duh . . .couldn't be more obvious. However for many I talk to, I don't hear about plans to do more than increase their twitter and/or blog followers.
The reality and the arithmetic of it is that unless the social media plan includes a way to transition these relationships to something that transcends the internet, their value is being highly limited and maybe even wasted. Twitter is neat; Dinner is better.